Three local citizens were recently chosen for inclusion on the Civic Monument at the Wall of Honor in Withers Park. Each person has left his or her distinctive and unique mark on Wytheville and Wythe County.
Walter S. Barton, M.D.
Born in Priceville, Tennessee in 1933, Walter S. Barton grew up in Wise County, Virginia and graduated from Appalachia High School. He received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Roanoke College, before pursuing his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University. He graduated in the Class of 1959. Following an internship at Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Dr. Barton served as a medical officer in the United States Navy. His practice of family medicine began at a clinic in South Boston, Virginia. He moved to Wytheville in 1964 to join a family medical practice. After eight years of solo practicing, he was joined by three other doctors to establish Family Physicians of Wytheville, now Carilion Family Medical. He retired in 1996.
During his years of caring for the citizens of this area, Dr. Barton served on the medical staff at Wythe County Community Hospital and also on the hospital’s first board of directors. He was chief of the medical staff when the hospital opened in 1972. A diplomat of the American Board of Family Practice, Dr. Barton has been a member of the Medical Society of Virginia, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Family Practice.
Medicine is not the only way that he has impacted his community. Through the years, Dr. Barton has served on a variety of committees and boards for many organizations including the Wytheville-Wythe-Bland Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Wythe County, Wytheville Community College Education Foundation, Wythe-Bland Foundation, Brock Hughes Free Clinic, Wytheville Community College, and Asbury Retirement & Health Care Centers. As a member of the Wytheville Rotary Club, Dr. Barton was selected to be a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International. In 2015, he was awarded the Stanley King Sr. Outstanding Citizenship Award by the Chamber of Commerce. He received the Chamber’s Community Service Award in 2006.
Dr. Barton is an active member of St. John’s Episcopal Church. He and his wife Frances have three children and twelve grandchildren.
James L. Gleaves Jr.
James Lucian Gleaves Jr. was born in Wytheville in 1924. He graduated from Wytheville High School in 1941. While attending the Citadel, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps serving in the 23rd Fighter Control Squadron in the China-Burma-India Theatre of WWII. Mr. Gleaves earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce from the University of Virginia in 1948, followed by a law degree in 1951. From 1951 to 1953, he served in the FBI in their Newark and Philadelphia offices. He returned to Wytheville in 1953 to enter private law practice where he remained until retiring in 1991.
His practice of law entered the public service arena when he was appointed attorney for the Town of Wytheville in 1969, a position he remained in until his retirement in 1991. Afterward, he was appointed to and served on Wytheville Town Council from 1994-1996. Mr. Gleaves served as a director of the Wythe County National Bank for over 20 years and also served as the Chairman of the Board for this entity.
Mr. Gleaves’ life is defined by public service with a love and dedication for Wythe County and its people. A long-time member of the Wytheville Presbyterian Church, he was a deacon, elder, treasurer and teacher. Mr. Gleaves was married to his late wife Dorothy for 57 years, they had four children and four grandchildren.
Thomas F. Hundley
Born in Radford in 1969, Thomas F. Hundley has always called Wytheville home. Firmly rooted in the local business community, he worked for Wytheville Office Supply for twelve years, before being hired by State Farm Insurance in 2000. Within two years he became an agent. He took over the Garrett Cochran State Farm Agency in 2002 after Mr. Cochran’s retirement. Mr. Hundley’s agency has been very successful. He received one of the company’s most prestigious awards in 2017 by being named to the State Farm Chairman’s Circle.
In 2010, Mr. Hundley was elected to Wytheville Town Council. Serving on the Public Works Committee, he was active in helping to bring many projects to completion, such as the East Main Street Project and the Heritage Walk. But his greatest passion was at the heart of the community, the Downtown. He was one of the driving forces to help breathe new life into downtown through the multi-year revitalization. He devoted countless hours to this initiative and was part of the formation of Downtown Wytheville, Inc. He supported the efforts to not only beautify the downtown area but also revive the infrastructure through new lighting, brick sidewalks, and other improvements to make the downtown an attractive place to do business and encourage our visitors to want to experience it.
Mr. Hundley was a member of Wytheville Town Council for eight years. He has served on many committees and boards including the District Three Governmental Cooperative, Wytheville Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Downtown Wytheville Inc., Wytheville Community College Educational Foundation, and the Wytheville Fraternal Lodge #42. He and his wife Annessia have two children.
-- Town of Wytheville